10 Reasons to Refuse the PARCC Test
1. The PARCC test is a fundamentally flawed assessment.
- There is no evidence that PARCC prepares students for college or careers
- PARCC is developmentally inappropriate for students at all grade levels
- Not enough sample tests, practice tests, or examples have been released
- The expectation that many or most students will perform poorly on the test is public knowledge
2. The PARCC test drives the standardization of learning.
- The Common Core State Standards, which support the PARCC, have narrowed state curriculum to fit the demands of the test
- Untested subjects are deprioritized or dropped altogether
- This unprecedented level of standardization cannot accommodate student differences in need, ability and interests
3. Test prep means less quality instructional time in schools.
- PARCC is longer than previously administered tests
- PARCC is taking excessive time away from classroom learning to prepare for the test. Many kids have reported regular classroom time being used for test prep activities.
- Schools now commonly refer to a “testing season” that lasts from March until June
4. High-stakes standardized testing takes an emotional toll on students.
- The PARCC is unlike any test you took as a child. It is unprecedented in its level of standardization and in the punitive measures attached to testing performance
- The PARCC is a timed exam so students who need a little bit more time can fail even if they know the material
- The stress of high-stakes test taking produces anxiety and is even more challenging for students who already experience anxiety
5. Schools around the state are unprepared to take a computerized exam.
- Never before have so many students taken an online exam simultaneously
- Districts have continually reported schools’ IT infrastructure cannot support PARCC administration
- The rush to implement the PARCC does not make sense for our schools
6. PARCC is a cash cow for testing companies such as Pearson, Inc.
- Technology and testing companies – not educators – have funded and organized the rush to develop and implement the Common Core and PARCC
- States have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Common Core and PARCC
- Pearson is a private company which will have access to student data with very little oversight.
7. Some school leaders have failed parents by voting to utilize PARCC this year and not pushing back against the Common Core State Standards or the Data Mining of our children’s information.
- Schools around the state have been forced to comply with federal and state mandates around Common Core and testing with little to no local level input
- Massachusetts policy makers have endorsed Common Core and PARCC without diligently investigating what is at stake and without asking the right questions
- The MA Commissioner of Education, Mitchell Chester, is also the Chairman and President of PARCC. This is a clear conflict of interest.
- PARCC has agreed to deliver student-level data to the USDOE without parental permission https://deutsch29.wordpress.com/2014/09/09/parcc-and-sbac-states-agree-to-deliver-student-level-data-to-usdoe/
8. PARCC test scores will be used to justify punitive measures.
- Per “No Child Left Behind” and other school reform measures, test scores are used to fire teachers, hold students back and close down schools
- These actions are disruptive and are unsettling to the communities that have to endure them
- These measures disproportionately impact under-resourced communities, students of color, English Language Learners and students with disabilities
9. There is no legal way for school administrators to force your child to take a test she or he does not want to take.
- The official position of the MA Department of Education is that there is no “opt out” provision for testing in Massachusetts. Since the law is silent on this matter it can be done.
- There is also no legal precedent for forcing a student to take a standardized test
- Massachusetts students and parents can opt-out, refuse, or decline to take the test just as families can in other states
- Your child cannot be punished, failed, or held back for refusing this test
10. Now is the time!
- More people are questioning PARCC than ever before – teachers, students and parents around the country have begun to speak out against high stakes testing
- Given the large number of problems with the test, many schools will not be held accountable based on test results this year. This is a lower-stakes opportunity to boycott the test and to build momentum for bigger boycotts to stop the damaging “accountability” provisions in the years to come.
PLEASE check out:
http://www.commoncoreforum.org/parcc-resources/ For a link to a sample PARCC Refusal form and a copy of the letter from Commissioner Mitchell Chester to Superintendents indicating kids not taking the test should be provided an alternative activity.
For additional and expanded reasons to Refuse PARCC, please see http://www.saveourschoolsnj.org/save/corefiles/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/The-12-REASONS-WE-ARE-OPPOSED-TO-PARCC.pdf
Additional resource on data mining of children’s information without parental consent:
Also check out:
Thank you to Michele Bollinger who originally wrote this list for Maryland parents here: http://iamaneducator.com/2015/02/18/10-reasons-to-refuse-the-parcc-test-for-your-child-maryland-parent-launches-an-opt-out-movement/ It has been modified to fit Massachusetts.